A study of drug prescribing pattern using WHO prescribing indicators in the state of Goa, India

Ulhas K. Chandelkar, Padmanabh V. Rataboli


Background: The quality of life in developing countries can be improved by enhancing the standards of medical treatment at all levels of the health care delivery system. Teaching hospitals have a special responsibility toward society to promote rational prescribing by their staff and, through them, the future generations of doctors.

Methods: A sample of 1000 patient prescriptions was assessed retrospectively to assess the drug prescription patterns in the state of Goa.

Results: Of 1842 drug products prescribed, the average number of drugs per prescription was 1.842. The total number of drugs prescribed by generic name was 1 (0.05%). An antibiotic was prescribed in 318 patient encounters (31.8%). Almost all drugs prescribed (n=1842, 99.67%) were on the essential drug list of India. During the study period, antibiotics were prescribed the most (n=318, 17.26%), followed by drug for cardiovascular system (n=265, 14.39%) and gastrointestinal tract (n=238, 12.92%).

Conclusions: Baseline data gathered by this study can be used by researchers and policymakers. Further the problem-based basic training in pharmacotherapy; targeted continuing education can prove useful to medical profession to improve prescribing practice and public health administrators for promoting effective rational drug use.


Prescribing pattern, Prescribing indicators, National list of essential medicines, Polypharmacy

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